Upper extremity bursitis

Am Fam Physician. 1997 Nov 1;56(7):1797-806, 1811-2.


Upper extremity bursae are injured through a number of processes, including overuse, hemorrhage, crystal deposition, autoimmune diseases and infection. These injuries may be disabling and can pose significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for the clinician. Treatment of the most common forms is directed at pain management and functional rehabilitation through a structured exercise program. Early recognition of infectious bursitis, followed by appropriate surgical and antibiotic treatment, is critical to prevent severe sequelae in these cases. This article reviews the pathophysiology, evaluation and treatment of the three most commonly involved upper extremity bursae: the subacromial, the olecranon and the subscapular bursae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bursitis* / diagnosis
  • Bursitis* / physiopathology
  • Bursitis* / therapy
  • Elbow Joint*
  • Humans
  • Shoulder Joint*